Dhanteras, also known as Dhantrayodashi, is a Hindu festival that heralds the beginning of Diwali celebrations. It is celebrated two days prior to Diwali, on the Trayodashi Tithior of the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the Moon) in the Hindu month of Kartik. This year, it falls on Friday, November 13 in the auspicious Hindu month.
The word Dhan means wealth and on this auspicious day, the God and Goddess of wealth, Lord Kubera and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped by Hindus for good luck and prosperity. The Hindus believe that on this day, Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean during the samudra manthan (churning of the ocean) with a pot of gold and wealth. This day several Hindus also worship Lord Dhanavantri, considered as the Lord of Ayurveda and is believed to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu.
Lord Kubera who is known as ‘the treasurer of the gods and king of Yakshas, also represents wealth, prosperity and fame. It is believed that worshipping him on Dhanteras and Diwali will be blessed with good fortune, wealth and prosperity. On this day, people light diyas (earthen lamps) at their homes and it is considered to be auspicious to purchase gold, silver, utensils, vehicles or electronic items. While performing the puja, they place their new purchases to seek blessings.
Dhanteras 2020: Auspicious time for puja
To perform the puja rituals, you can choose the temple or prayer area of your home. You can keep a low wooden chowki close to the temple and cover it with a red cloth. Spread some rice on the front side of the chowki, it is considered as the asana (seat) for the idols.
Light an oil or ghee lamp and place it on top of the rice. Place the idols of Lord Kuber, Goddess Lakshmi and to her left, place the idol of God Ganesha, as no Hindu auspicious ritual can start without worshipping him and all the offerings must be made to him first.
In case one doesn’t have the idols, use two whole suparis (betel nuts) and wrap them completely with kalava (sacred thread). Start with Dhyan mantras and invoke the deities by chanting dedicated mantras to each god.
Offer Padya, Arghya, Achaman and small pieces of the sacred thread kalava as a form of vastra to the deities. Then proceed by offering the sacred Akshat (rice) and Janeyu to Lord Kubera, followed by roli (Kumkum), Chandan (sandalwood paste) haldi, flowers and finally the bhog or naivedhya and gold coins. People also worship the diyas and offer dhoop.
Offer parikrama by standing up and start turning around from your right side. Perform the aarti with Ganesha Vandana, Lakshmi, Kubera and Dhanvantari aarti accordingly and conclude the puja by offering flowers to the idols.